Miscellaneous Articles

Juvenile Delinquency Prevention -
Miscellaneous Articles

Anderson, M. L. C.


The High Juvenile Crime Rate: A Look at Mentoring as a Preventive Strategy. Criminal Law Bulletin 30: 54-75.

This article looks to mentoring as a delinquency-preventive measure. (Much of the rationale is consistent with Emmy Werner's work on resiliency.) Anderson cites several articles on the efficacy of mentoring programs. She makes a point of applying social learning theory to the delinquent population - peer pressure, delinquent affiliations, and social opportunities as influencing or inducing delinquency. Therefore, the current practice of isolating juvenile offenders with others of similar bent reinforces all the wrong social factors; mentoring is seen as a way both to weaken the links to delinquent behavior and to reinforce socially desired behaviors. Another point she makes is that children NEED positive attachment to at least one stable, affirmative adult (again, this sounds like Emmy Werner, though Werner is not cited). Studies are cited showing the role of family in the development (or prevention) of delinquent behavior; a mentor can substitute for family. Also noted is the link between positive self-esteem (and feelings of self-worth) and prevention of delinquency; mentors can provide this stability and foster positive self-esteem and reliance. All in all, mentoring is seen as a BUFFER between the child and adverse environmental influences.

Anderson suggests that intervention programs: 1) foster bonding of children with an adult mentor, 2) teach prosaic means for problem solving, and 3) promote effective adaptation of children to positive forces within their environment via mentors. She also describes the support these program should provide to the mentor.

This is a theoretical paper; it does not give information about any particular program. Consequently, there is no way to determine effcacy of any of the points she made. It does describe factors thought to underlay the development of delinquent behavior and proposes that mentoring addresses and remedies those factors.

Clements, C. B.


Delinquency Prevention and Treatment: A Community Centered Perspective. Special Issue: Community Psychology Perspectives on Delinquency. Criminal justice & Behavior 15:286-305.

Presents a general rationale for community-centered delinquency programs. Several theories are described that provide guidance for prevention and intervention efforts. The most robust psychological model for intervention, it is argued, appears to be cognitive-behaviorism. Applications, however, must also address community practices that exacerbate delinquency. Successful programs and strategies aimed at diversion, neighborhood, families, and school are reviewed, and future directions are suggested.

Dryfoos, J.G.


Adolescents at Risk: A Summation of Work in the Field: Programs and Polices. Journal of Adolescent Health 12:630-637.

An examination of programs that work in prevention of substance abuse, delinquency, teen pregnancy, and school failure and dropout revealed two common themes: the need for individual attention and the importance of multi-component, multi-agency community-wide programs. Other components of successful programs include early intervention, basic skills as the bottom line, a health school climate, parent involvement, peer involvement, connection to the world of work, social and life skills training, and attention to staff training and supervision. A proposal is made for designating a lead agency at the community level to take responsibility for creating the marriage between school systems and community service systems.

Gottshalk, R., W.S. Davidson, II, J. Mayer, and L.K. Gensheimer


Behavioral Approaches with Juvenile Offenders: A Meta-Analysis of Long-term Treatment Efficacy. In: E.K. Morris and C.J. Braukmann (eds.), Behavioral Approaches to Crime and Delinquency: A Handbook of Application, Research, and Concepts. New York: Plenum Press, pg. 399-422.

This article provides a meta-analysis of research on behavioral interventions with juvenile offenders from 1967 through 1983. A discussion of behavioral approaches to juvenile delinquency in historical and theoretical contexts precedes the actual meta-analysis. The meta-analysis sought to determine the efficacy of behavioral interventions with overall violent and aggressive behavior but used studies specific to juvenile offenders as the subject of review. The review produced inconsistent results concerning the efficacy of behavioral interventions. The ballot box method of effect size calculation indicated that behavioral interventions had positive effects on juvenile delinquency. However statistical methods of effect size calculation did not produce similar conclusions of positive effects. Gottshalk et al. conclude that the efficacy of behavioral interventions is questionable; there is a definite need for studies with more methodological rigor, and research conducted in areas other than residential settings and closer to the follow-up environment are necessary to better assess the long-term effects of such interventions.

Gullotta, T.P. and G.R. Admans


Minimizing Juvenile Delinquency: Implications for Prevention Programs. Journal of Early Adolescence 2:105-117.

Examines the experimental designs of ten delinquency prevention programs to highlight many of the problems that plague delinquency prevention efforts. Major biological, psychological, access/social control, and deviance theories that attempt to explain delinquency behavior are examined. The four tools of prevention (education, competency promotion, community organization, and nature care giving) are applied to the design of possible intervention aimed at minimizing delinquency.

Hawkins, J.D. & J. G. Weis


The Social Development Model: An Integrated Approach to Delinquency Prevention. Journal of Primary Preventions 6(2): 73-97

Discusses the Social Development model of Delinquency Prevention. This model integrates social control & cultural deviance models to explain delinquent behavior. It emphasizes the socialization process in a specific community context.

Krisberg, B.


Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Sociologist? The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 82:141-155

A good review of the role of theory in recent and not-so-recent delinquency prevention efforts. He suggests that delinquency prevention programs have rarely been grounded in sound empirical data. He also suggests that macro level variables & causes need to be incorporated into current thinking on crime & delinquency.

Lundman, R.J.


Prevention and Control of Juvenile Delinquency. New York: Oxford University Press.

This book describes & analyzes several famous prevention studies. Lundman notes there is no data to show that the Chicago Area Project reduced delinquency. Moreover, similar projects modeled after were not successful at reducing delinquency. Diversion projects, Lundman suggests, may be no better than doing nothing but they are as effective as institutionalization. He recommends that traditional delinquency prevention efforts be abandoned,. He concludes that prevention projects don't work, waste money, violate the rights of juveniles and their families, and fail to affect the known correlates of urban delinquency.

Mulvey, E.P., M. W. Arthur, and N.D. Reppucci


The Prevention and Treatment of Juvenile Delinquency: A Review of the Research. Clinical Psychology Review 13:133-167.

Reviews evidence regarding the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs to reduce juvenile delinquency. Primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention programs are considered. It is recommended that intervention must be broadly based, extend over long time periods of development, and be assessed with fuller characterization of operational regularities. Evidence for the effectiveness of both institutional and community treatment programs is massive but flawed enough to be far from convincing.

Schwartz, I. M.


Delinquency Prevention-Where's the Beef? Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 82:132-140.

He discusses the inchoate state of knowledge about delinquency prevention and reviews several of the shortcomings of studies contained in the same issue of The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology.

Van Dijk, J.M. and J. de Waard


A Two-Dimensional Typology of Crime Prevention Projects; With a Bibliography. Criminal Justice Abstracts 23: 483-503

This review offers a definition of Crime prevention and a discussion of a typology of crime prevention. They make a distinction between primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. They also noted that prevention efforts can be aimed at reducing propensities to offend, at diminishing the vulnerability of potential victims, and strengthening the level of guardianship in the environment (i.e., target hardening). Based on these two dimensions, they offer a typology of 9 different types of crime prevention programs. They include a bibliography arranged in accordance with the typology.

Weis, J.G. and J.D. Hawkins


Preventing Delinquency. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

This report reviews theories, prevention programs, and strategies of general juvenile delinquency. It offers recommendations for experimental testing of the comprehensive model of delinquency prevention.

Wilson, J. J.


A National Agenda for Children: On the Front Lines with Attorney General Janet Reno. Juvenile Justice 1(2): 2-8

An interview with Attorney General Reno in which she describes her beliefs about the importance of prevention. She suggests that government should invest in prevention programs as an alternative to waiting for intervention by the juvenile justice system.

Wilson, J. Q.


Thinking About Cohorts. The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 82:

Argues for the need for more birth cohort studies. He also notes that the vast scholarly literature on child development is relevant yet rarely cited by any of these studies.

Yoshikawa, H.


Prevention as Cumulative Protection: Effects of Early Famous Support and Education on Chronic Delinquency and its Risks. Psychological Bulletin 115(1): 28-54

An essay on the cumulative protection model to explain why chronic delinquency may be amenable to prevention. A review of the early intervention literature reveals that the family support component is associated with effects on family risks, while the early education component is related to effects on child risks. Both components may be necessary for effects on multiple risks and later reduction in delinquency. Implications for social policy and improvement of the early childhood program Head Start are discussed.

Zigler E., C. Taussig, and K. Black


Early Childhood Intervention-A Promising Preventative for Juvenile Delinquency. American Psychologist 47:997-1006.

Reviews some of the longitudinal studies of early childhood intervention programs which take an ecological approach to enhancing child development by attempting to promote overall social competence in the many systems impacting on children. The authors note that few of the programs directed at reducing delinquent and predelinquent behavior have shown lasting effects. They suggest that primary prevention is less expensive and far more effective that is treatment of delinquent children.

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